10 January 2017
Duterte urges government officials to serve with honesty, dedication
President Rodrigo Duterte led on Monday the oathtaking of newly appointed government officials in Malacanan urging them to serve the people with integrity and dedication.

Duterte congratulated the officials who took their oath particularly those returning to government service.

Six years from now, I do not think that you’d be in a position to work some more. So this is the last call para may magawa tayo sa kababayan natin. Just give it to them,” the President said during a speech after leading the oathtaking ceremony.

“It’s your last call to serve your nation and because I am pleading to you and I hope that we can work together, trust each other and I said give it to the people this time,” he added.

He reiterated that there will be no corruption in his government and also promised to fight red tape in the bureaucracy. In his entire career as public servant, he said, he never favored anyone especially businessmen applying for permits. 

The President also highlighted the necessity of solving the Mindanao problem noting failure to address the concerns of the Moro people will give rise to uncertainties in the future.

At the same time, he renewed his campaign pledge to get rid of illegal drugs promising that the ongoing war on drugs will continue until the last drug pusher or drug lord is out of the street.

Among the appointees who took their oath were Michael Dalumpines, chairman, Asian Productivity organization (APO) Production Unit Inc.; Emmanuel Diwa Pineda, chairman and administrator, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan; Angelo Verdan, general manager, Cebu Port Commission; Vicente Pelagio Achacoso Angala, COO, Duty Free Philippines Corp.; and Reynaldo Berroya, administrator, Lightrail Transit Authority.

Other appointees were Steve Dicdican, general manager, Mactan-Cebu International Airport; Eddie Monreal, general manager, Manila International Airport Authority; Edgardo Rama Masongsong, administrator, National Electrification Administration; Jason Laureno Yazar Aquino, administrator, National Food Authority; Andrea Domingo, chairman and CEO, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.; Alfredo Lim, president and COO, PAGCOR; and Avelino Andal, administrator-CEO, Philippine Coconut Authority.

Also sworn in were Reuben Simon Lista, president and CEO, Philippine National Oil Co.; Joel Otarra, postmaster general, Philippine Postal Corp.; Alberto Agra, chairman, Philippine Reclamation Authority, Janilo Espesor Rubiato, general manager, Philippine Reclamation Authority; Sherwin Smith Rigor, chairman, Poro Management Corp.; and Emmanuel Dooc, president and CEO, Social Security System.

Also appointed were Wilma Eisma, administrator, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; Allan Cayao Guisihan, executive director, Philippine Center on Transnational Crime; William Ramirez, Philippine Sports Commission; Benjamin Panganiban Reyes, chairman, Dangerous Drugs Board; Terry Ridon, chairperson, Presidential Commission for Urban Poor; Wifredo Campasas Roldan, executive director, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, Jose Miranda Layug Jr., chairman, National Renewal Energy; Alfegar Menchavez Triambolo, inspector general, International Affairs Service, PNP-DILG; Joel Egco, executive director, Committee on Media Killings, DOJ; Luisito Clavano, executive director, Road Board, DPWH; Penelope Belmonte, executive director, National Parks Development Committee; Cesar Montano, COO, Tourism Promotions Board, DOT; Jim Sydiongco, director general, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines; Jose Alvarez, chairperson, Regional Development Council, Region IV-B, NEDA; Marilou Mendoza, chairperson, Tariff Commission, NEDA; and Bernelito Fernandez, associate justice, Sandiganbayan.###PND

Duterte’s ‘very good’ survey rating inspires
A Malacañang official on Tuesday welcomed the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey where the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte received a “very good” net satisfaction rating.

“The 4th Quarter 2016 Social Weather Survey conducted on December 3 to 6 via face-to-face interviews with 1,500 adults nationwide with sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±4 for Balance Luzon as well as ±6 points each for Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao found 73 percent of respondents satisfied with the national government, 12 percent dissatisfied and 15 percent undecided, yielding a net satisfaction rating of +61 percent, classified by the Social Weather Survey as ‘very good’,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said at a press briefing.

Abella also mentioned the Pulse Asia Survey showing President Duterte as the most trusted government official in the Philippines.

The Palace official noted that the President’s high rating “continues to serve as a source of inspiration to the President and his official family.”

The survey showed that the President’s trust and approval ratings are at a high of 83 percent.

Abella also commended the authorities and Black Nazarene devotees for the safe and successful celebration of the annual religious festivity on Monday.

“The Black Nazarene is back home safe after terror threats. Despite possible threats of violence from various groups, thousands of Catholic devotees guided the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene safely back to its home before dawn on Tuesday. Doors closed at 3:30 a.m. this morning,” said Abella.

At the same press briefing, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella urged citizens to conserve energy in light of the scheduled maintenance shutdown of Malampaya gas field from January 28 to February 18.

“Secretary Cusi issued a directive: number one, kailangan ma-ensure ng Department of Energy, in proper coordination with our partners, with the stakeholders involved, that there will be sufficiency of power; and number two, we have to maximize protection to our consumers so that we will avoid any price shock,” he said.

Fuentebella also gave an update on the government’s power restoration efforts in those areas affected by the recent typhoons.

The Energy official reported that as of January 9, power was already restored to 76 percent of those affected. Of the 1,700,000 affected households, 1,300,000 have already been restored.

He said to fast track the restoration of power to the residential households and to the commercial areas, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has coordinated with the distribution utilities.

These include cooperatives and private distribution utilities and the agency mobilized almost 1,000 personnel, technical people, linesmen, and engineers, he said.###PND

PRRD welcomes new foreign ambassadors to PH
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte accepted credentials of new ambassadors to the Philippines in a ceremony held at the Reception Hall in Malacañan Palace on Tuesday, January 10.

Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mohammed Rida El Fassi of Morocco, Venetia Sebudandi of Rwanda, Shiferaw Jarso Tedecha of Ethiopia, and Anne Namakau Mutelo of Namibia were present during the ceremony. 

Estonian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaak Lensment was not able to arrive due to bad weather.

Prior to the ceremony, the ambassadors were given arrival honors at the Kalayaan grounds.

The presentation of credentials to the president of host country is a diplomatic requirement for newly-appointed ambassadors before they begin their tour of duty.

President Duterte had a brief meeting with each ambassador right after the credential submission.

After welcoming the new foreign ambassadors, President Duterte  met with outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Truong Trieu Duong in a farewell call.

The President conferred the Order of Sikatuna award, with the rank of Grand Cross Gold Distinction or “Datu Katangiang Ginto”, to Ambassador Duong in a ceremony held in the Palace’s Music Room.

President Duterte commended Ambassador Duong for his exemplary performance and meritorious service in fostering and strengthening diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Vietnam.‎

In the citation, Ambassador Duong was recognized for showing his “demonstrated concern for the Filipinos” during national calamities, particularly in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, and for his “laudable representation of his government”, which gained the momentum of vibrant relations between the Philippines and Vietnam.

Also present in the occasion were Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. and Vietnamese Embassy Political Officer Le Thi Thu Thuy who witnessed the awarding ceremony.###PND